Native Salmonid Enthusiasm; Retrospection and Consideration

Of course, this is the time of the year that many folks start thinking about resolutions for the New Year; and arm chair quarterbacks are found talking about strategic game plans that their favorite teams should put in place for upcoming bowl games.

And so, why would anyone think it unusual for native trout enthusiasts to become “arm chair biologists” by putting their heads together to review, discuss and contemplate game plans for Alvord trout phenotype preservation in the next year . . . and for years to come?

So often the information shared among native trout enthusiasts, and discussions emanating from those shared realizations, has resulted in positive suggestions – or strategies – for the preservation of a given species, or strain, or for habitat improvement and preservation. Continue reading

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Past History, Geology – the Hope of Future Prospect & Promise

Ever since awareness of the Alvord Cutthroat Trout, and the presence of a phenotypical ACT remnant in SE Oregon came to light (eight+ years ago now), a fair amount of thought has been applied regarding the origins and development of this cutthroat subspecies.

Indeed, questions began long before the trout was considered extinct . . .

Continue reading

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Reflections on a Desert Stream

More often than not, rain is not something Oregonians rejoice to see . . . But the onslaught of storms bringing rain to the West Coast are a welcome sight, especially since some of that moisture is beginning to make its way to southeast Oregon and ***** Creek.  Any amount of rain is a welcome relief to this drought affected region.

Reflecting on the photos of our recently stressed high desert streams, such as ***** Creek, several concerning questions seem to be worth pondering . . . Continue reading

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Status Progress Update: Fish Biologist and Alvord Phenotypes

No doubt, we’ve been long overdue for reaching-out to the Klamath Hatchery to find out how the juvenile phenotypical Alvord cutthroat trout have been doing.

And, long overdue for touching base with the ODFW Hines District Office of regarding their search for, and securing of, the new Fish Biologist for SE Oregon.


The good news is that on both fronts there has been more than progress — and the present reality on both fronts seems to be positive and optimistic . . .

__________________________________________________________ Continue reading

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Refugium: An area where special environmental circumstances enable a species to survive – after extinction in adjacent areas.

Even with some hopeful success regarding the plight and the effort to rescue a remnant of phenotypical Alvord cutthroat trout in SE Oregon (such as hopeful survival of up-to eighty phenotypes at SE Oregon’s Fort Klamath Hatchery) — yet the subject regarding how to finally perpetually save a remnant of trout bearing Alvord CT characteristics is one of increasing complexity and difficulty.

The difficulty stems from the extreme drought over the past few years, and the bitter cold that effectively froze sections of the stream this past winter, and the burns that no-doubt ran ash into this fragile low-oxygen system.  Survivors are at an all-time low (since the 2006 ODFW survey), and the stream is in a hyper-critical state. Continue reading

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Sad or Sober News Can be the Most Difficult Kind to Report On

Sometimes it is so difficult to write a post about Alvord phenotypes . . .  Especially when the most recent news does not seem to be particularly encouraging, uplifting, edifying . . .

Yet much as ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder;’ so it is that whether positive précises are derived, whether lasting lessons can be learned, whether constructive courses of action can be formed, whether we see the cup as not being empty — depends so on our resiliency and resolution as native trout enthusiasts — and our inclination to hope for, and to do, all that we can in behalf of a remnant of a strain of trout that may now simply number in the dozens—a few dozen—in a hatchery environment ran by employees of the State of Oregon. Continue reading

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Absolutely, Among the Rarest of Species on Planet Earth

Of trout species native to the Great Basin and Range, many are uniquely adapted to the alkaline environments and the harsh extremes of this desolate, austere, expanse.  In such lethal environs, species that adapt, even by losing the natural predisposition for cold, clear neutral pH waters and advantageous climes, may survive — even come to be dominant — in this remote and unforgiving region of North America.

It would require far more space than this brief post can afford do justice to the processes whereby a species is buffeted and pared down to a survivor species that comes to be fairly “comfortable” in such exacting intolerant surroundings.

Yet of many unique species that call our western deserts home, there is one that stands out as perhaps one of the absolute rarest species in existence on the whole planet. Continue reading

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Kudos to Shannon Hurn — Best Wishes on Her new Journey

We heard from Shannon Hurn today that the Guano Creek fish at the hatchery have finally started growing — and have shot up to an average of 100 mm.  We also were informed that Shannon will be leaving the Fisheries Biologist position in SE Oregon – to take a watershed management position on the north coast, starting next month. Continue reading

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The State of the Art of De-Extinction

Generally a subject that I’ve not commented on . . .  nor given much thought about it as a credible consideration where the extinct Alvord cutthroat trout are concerned . . .

Yet times and technology are continually changing.  New thought processes are under foot; processes being pursued as potential solutions for the dilemma of the extinctions currently transpiring for so many species across the globe. Continue reading

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